Advertisement

Our Shield team of the season so far

We take a look at the best first-class performers to date as the players switch gears for the BBL

1) Cameron Bancroft (Western Australia) (wk)

M: 3 | Runs: 442 | Ave: 110.50 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 2 | HS: 228* | Ct: 5 | St: 0

Having heeded the call for early-season runs to push into the Test side, Bancroft's elevation into Australia's Ashes squad came as no great surprise after an unbeaten double-century against South Australia. But arguably his scores of 76* and 86 in Sydney against a Test quality bowling line-up and in unfavourable batting conditions was an even better performance. And with a lack of standout keeping options so far this season, Bancroft can take the gloves in our side, too.

Full highlights of Bancroft's epic double century

2) Jake Weatherald (South Australia)

M: 5 | Runs: 457 | Ave: 45.70 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 1 | HS: 152

Most of Weatherald's runs came in one game on a batting-friendly pitch, but his match-winning performance against WA in Perth is reason enough to include him in the side. Having responded to WA's monster first innings with a blazing 152 at almost a run-a-ball, the left-hander added 143 in the second innings as the Redbacks breezed to their victory target of 325.

Weatherald's twin ton powers Redbacks to famous win

3) Joe Burns (Queensland)

M: 5 | Runs: 514 | Ave: 57.11 | 100s: 2 | 50s: 2 | HS: 202*

A year after he last played Test cricket, Burns has kept himself in the frame for higher honours with a standout finish to the first half of the season. A maiden Test double century against SA this week followed a double of 81 and 103 against Western Australia, with the only downside being the fact those runs came after the Ashes got underway and the race for Test spots cooled off.

Brilliant Burns posts maiden double century

4) Callum Ferguson (South Australia)

M: 5 | Runs: 541 | Ave: 60.11 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 3 | HS: 182*

An unlucky casualty of Australia's player purge last summer, Ferguson is arguably in better form this season than he was last. The right-hander has scored more than 30 in five of his eight innings, the highlights being an unbeaten 182 against the defending champions in Melbourne and a score of 88 in SA's record run chase in Perth.

Ferguson flays Bushrangers for unbeaten ton

5) Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)

M: 5 | Runs: 590 | Ave: 73.75 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 3 | HS: 278

The leading run-scorer so far this season, Maxwell has responded to being overlooked for the Ashes by posting scores of 278, 16 and 96 to remain the next batsman in line should a batting vacancy in the Test side open up. The right-hander is arguably hitting the ball as well as he ever has in first-class cricket and while his bowling output has dwindled – he's taken just one wicket in 56 overs this season – he's making an irresistible case for more Test cricket.

Glenn Maxwell's epic Shield knock ends on 278

6) George Bailey (Tasmania) (c)

M: 5 | Runs: 385 | Ave: 42.77 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 3 | HS: 106

Given it's an Ashes summer, putting the self-appointed 'Whitewash Wizard' at No.6 in our side seems entirely appropriate. The right-hander has been a crucial figure in Tasmania's response to their early-season woes and his teammates have started to deliver as well. His batting stance continues to baffle, but Bailey enters the mid-season break having posted scores of 106, 59, 3, 86 and 71 in a three-match unbeaten run.

Lone ranger Bailey flies the flag with defiant century

7) Jack Wildermuth (Queensland)

M: 5 | Runs: 251 | Ave: 31.37 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 2 | HS: 95 | W: 14 | Ave: 25.07 | 5wi: 0 | BBI: 4-41

Mitchell Marsh has had more of an impact with the bat, but Wildermuth has delivered consistent results in both departments to earn the allrounder spot in our side. The youngster has posted at least a half-century or taken five wickets in three of five matches so far this season and his return against WA in Perth – 129 runs and five wickets – underlines his quality.

8) Chris Tremain (Victoria)

M: 5 | W: 22 | Ave: 21.95 | 5wi: 0 | BBI: 4-36

Bowling predominantly on a batting paradise at the MCG, Tremain has been as reliable as ever, even though he hasn't been able to secure the Vics a win so far this season. As always, there's nothing flashy about the tall right-armer, but his consistent returns underline just how uncomfortable he makes life for the opposition's batsmen. He's also contributed some handy runs (136 at 27) down the order.

9) Mitchell Starc (NSW)

M: 2 | W: 17 | Ave: 12.70 | 5wi: 1 | BBI: 8-73

Seventeen wickets in two games says it all about Australia's pace ace, who followed up a six-wicket haul in the season-opener with a memorable performance against WA in Sydney. Figures of 8-137 for the match, including two hat-tricks, means he gets into our team despite playing just two games.

Watch Starc's two hat-tricks back-to-back

10) Jackson Bird (Tasmania)

M: 4 | W: 25 | Ave: 16.56 | 5wi: 1 | BBI: 5-30

Australia's forgotten paceman, Bird has left no doubt he'll be the first quick rushed into the Test side this summer should re-enforcements be required. The right-armer has been sensational when he's returned to Shield cricket from the Test squad, taking a competition high 25 wickets and leading Tasmania's surprise rise up the Shield ladder after a horror start to the season.

Bird's five eats Redbacks alive

11) Jon Holland (Victoria)

M: 2 | W: 11 | Ave: 18.63 | 5wi: 1 | BBI: 5-67

Having missed the start of the season due to injury, Holland has taken little time to settle back in to Shield cricket on his return. Having been overlooked for the Test tours of India and Bangladesh this year, the left-armer is reminding national selectors of his worth in the best way possible - by taking plenty of wickets.

Holland finds form quickly in Shield return

12) Tom Rogers (Tasmania)

M: 4 | W: 15 | Ave: 16.06 | 5wi: 0 | BBI: 4-21

We've been impressed by the work of rookie quick Tom Rogers in his first season of Shield cricket. Having debuted in round two, the right-armer has been a constant source of wickets in Tasmania's recent resurgence so he can carry the drinks in our team.